I’ve been thinking about Amy’s essay on the numunious experience. It has stayed with me for many reasons, one of them is that I particularly like the line, “truth holds opposites in tension.”
I’ve also been thinking about it because when I was a new mom to Avery, and I was reading everything I could get my hands on about Down syndrome, I came across several books that refered to children with DS as angels. It seemed like much too big a term to put on a little baby, and I promised myself that I would never call Avery an angel. He was a human being, of my body and of this world, and calling him an angel seemed to separate him from us.
When I read Amy’s essay, I had to look up the meaning of numinous (which is why I included the link to Wikipedia, in case others were unfamiliar with the term, too.) It’s an attempt to describe the experience of the sublime; a term for what is “wholly other.”
This is the reason I’m thinking about all this: I’ve had four numinous experiences (though I didn’t know they had a name, until now. I just called them my woo-woo episodes) and they all surround Avery. The first was when I was pregnant with him, even before I knew he would be Avery, even before I knew I was carrying twins. The other three happened when I was in the hospital just after giving birth.
I don’t know what to make of these things. I swore I would never mention angels and Avery in the same breath, but still, I can’t say that my only numinous experiences being tied to one person is a coincidence. And Amy, in her essay, is writing about her experience with the numinous, which is tied to her son who has Down syndrome.
I don’t have any answers. These things are just on my mind today, as I begin writing “Get it Down: 31 for 21.” Thirty more posts to go!